Some might wonder why a battle that began 150 years ago today garners so much attention. Put simply, the Battle of Gettysburg was more than the largest battle ever fought in the Western Hemisphere. It is the battle that decided whether the United States would experience what Abraham Lincoln later called “a new birth of freedom,” a birth that the death of many Americans purchased so the promise of the Declaration of Independence would would not perish from the Earth.
So, events today through Thursday are about more than Civil War reenactors living out their historical dreams. Peter Wehner offers a succinct but meaningful assessment of what a battle whose influence is on par with Saratoga and D-Day truly means: “The Civil War, after all, achieved two monumentally important things: It ended slavery and it preserved the Union, which meant it preserved and extended liberty in America and the world.” His article in Commentary magazine is worth reading.